Friday, October 24, 2014

Movie Review - Fury - Review by Stephen Signor


Run time: 2hours, 14 minutes
 
It’s April, 1945. Allies are making their final push in the European Theatre.  A battle-hardened Army Sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered and out-gunned, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany. It is here Fury begins. Unfortunately it is also where it ends.

The starring role by Brad Pitt along with additional credit as executive producer prompted my attendance and high anticipation for entertainment but to no avail.  He did not impress me; nor did the presence of other household names like Shia LaBeouf. The delivery of their lines seemed mechanical so sub sequentially actions that followed lacked in execution as well as impact. While it seems unlikely, perhaps if four of the five crew members had offered more credibility to their roles I might have taken more of an interest in their characters.

To this end, I present the fifth member of the crew and the real protagonist. His name is Norman (Logan Lerman) the rookie soldier thrust into Pitts platoon as a last minute replacement. His portrayal of a young unseasoned soldier shines. It is compelling and always convincing to the extent that everyone else just, well, simply disappears from the limelight. I recall a similar performance when he held the leading role in 2010’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief. 

As for the action sequences, there are a scenes of battle that are well executed and impressive visually. However I would have preferred, no expected, a greater number of them, especially coming from Director David Ayer whom you may remember gave us 2001s Fast and Furious and more recently 2012s End of Watch. Instead he opted to riddle the script with numerous underlying elements involving personality clashes in an attempt to solicit a sympathetic or emotional response from the viewer. I found this to be more of a distraction than a point of interest.

So what you have in the end is a film that struggles to identify and bring its point across. Perhaps my expectations were too high. What I did not anticipate was a rollercoaster ride. What I did get was a film that borders on mediocrity.